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2017-08-14 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-08-08 12:58:29    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun









This is Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. Here is the news.
China must step up transforming its armed forces into a world-class military that is ready to fight and win wars as the country will never compromise on defending sovereignty.
Chinese President Xi Jinping made the remarks during a speech at a ceremony to mark the 90th anniversary of the Chinese military, the People's Liberation Army. He is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.
While hailing the military's great achievements over the past nine decades, the president said the Chinese military has reshaped its political environment, organizational form and work style over the past five years.
He said the People's Liberation Army should firmly safeguard the Party's leadership and the socialist system, protect national sovereignty as well as regional and world peace.
The president said China will never seek aggression or expansion, but the country has the confidence to defeat all invasions. China will never allow any people, any organization or political party to split any part of the Chinese territory from the country at any time, and in any form.
This is Special English.
The High Court in London has blocked an attempt by a former Iraqi army general to have former British Prime Minister Tony Blair prosecuted for a war crime.
Abdul Al Rabbat, who served as chief of staff of the Iraqi army, alleged that Blair and two of his ministers had committed the crime of aggression by invading Iraq in 2003 to overthrow President Saddam Hussein.
Al Rabbat had also wanted to prosecute Jack Straw, who served as foreign secretary in Blair's Labour government, and the former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith.
His lawyers asked the High Court for permission to seek a judicial review in an attempt to get the British Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by the House of Lords in 2006 that there is no such crime as the crime of aggression under English and Welsh law.
The judges dismissed the general's application, on the grounds there was no chance of the case succeeding.
The British attorney general Jeremy Wright had earlier intervened in the case on behalf of the British government, calling on the High Court to block the challenge on the grounds that it was "hopeless".
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
France-based European plane-maker Airbus has said it would set up an innovation and research center in China in order to support its future products and services".
Airbus said in a press release that the new innovation center is tasked with defining the future of flight by identifying the next big change to transform the aerospace sector. It will serve to strengthen Airbus' extended innovation eco-system.
The company said China's fast-paced start-up culture makes it an ideal place for Airbus to create a new innovation center. Growth has come to China from manufacturing, technology and finance nowadays.
A location will be announced at a later date.
The European aircraft manufacturer also named a Chief Executive Officer of the center. The CEO, Luo Gang, will be charged with establishing the center to be fully operational when it officially opens later this year.
Luo has a degree in electrical engineering from Tainjin University and an MBA from the London Business School.
This is Special English.
Chinese bike-sharing company Mobike has announced the launch of its popular service in London, starting in the West London borough of Ealing.
The launch comes hot on the heels of Mobike's success in launching the UK's first council and community backed bicycle sharing scheme in Manchester just a few weeks ago.
The launch is the result of a sustained collaboration between Mobike, Ealing council and other local stakeholders. The company said Mobike's sustainable and affordable solution will be Ealing's very first smart and dockless bike share scheme, and is designed to benefit users, local businesses and communities, as well as the council itself.
Ealing will see Mobike launching with an initial 750 bikes in September, with the number expected to increase to meet the growing demand for the service.
Locals will be able to pick up and ride Mobikes around the city at any time with the innovative dockless scheme, by simply downloading the Mobike app, finding a nearby Mobike and scanning a QR code. To complete their ride, users only need to park the bike at any authorized bike parking area near their destination and manually close the lock on the bike.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Scientists have genetically engineered human embryos for the first time in the United States.
The effort was led by the Oregon Health and Science University, and involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR.
Researchers said their paper is going to be published soon.
They said that although none of the embryos were allowed to develop for more than a few days, and there was never any intention of implanting them into a womb, the experiments are a milestone on what may prove to be an inevitable journey towards the birth of the first genetically modified humans.
To date, three previous reports of editing human embryos were all published by scientists in China.
Scientists believe they can eradicate or correct genes that cause inherited disease and even cancer by altering the DNA of human embryos.
This is Special English.
U.S. scientists say there may be substantial amounts of trapped water in the interior of the moon.
By analyzing satellite data, researchers at Brown University discovered rich amounts of indigenous water within the volcanic deposits, or within layers of rocks spread across the lunar surface after ancient volcanos erupted on the moon.
This suggests that water may be rich in the moon's mantle, the layer between the crust and the core.
The study says past findings of water on the moon didn't appear to come from indigenous sources.
The moon is believed to have been formed from debris of an object that hit the Earth early in the solar system's history, but the essential hydrogen to form water could hardly survive the heat in the formation of the moon.
The finding suggests that water did somehow survive, or that it was brought in shortly after the impact by asteroids or comets before the moon had completely solidified.
But the exact origin of water in the lunar interior is still a big question.
The finding also sheds light on future lunar exploration, as water could potentially be extracted from the volcanic deposits.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
Estimates in a study indicate that climate change has led to failing harvests that push farmers into poverty and have caused more than 59,000 suicides in India over the last 30 years.
A researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that warming a single day by 1 degree Celsius during India's agricultural growing season leads to roughly 65 suicides across the country, whenever that day's temperature is above 20 degrees Celsius. Warming a day by 5 degrees Celsius has five times that effect.
The study helps explain India's evolving suicide epidemic, where suicide rates have almost doubled since 1980 and claim more than 130,000 lives each year.
While high temperatures and low rainfall during the growing season impact annual suicide rates, similar events have no effect on suicide rates during the off-season, when few crops are grown, implicating agriculture as the critical link.
Finding that 7 percent of this upward trend can be attributed to warming that has been linked to human activity, the researcher acknowledged that it was both shocking and heartbreaking to see that thousands of people face such bleak conditions that they are driven to harm themselves.
More than 75 percent of the world's suicides are believed to occur in developing countries with one-fifth of those in India alone.
This is Special English.
A new global analysis of forest habitat loss and wildlife extinction risk show that species most at risk live in areas just beginning to see the impacts of human activities such as hunting, mining, logging and ranching.
In a paper published in the latest issue of the journal Nature, the researchers argue that these intact areas deserve higher priority for limited conservation dollars than areas already impacted heavily by human activity even though species are also threatened in the impacted areas.
These conclusions were based on analyzing global datasets of forest habitat assembled by Matthew Hansen at the University of Maryland in the United States and categories of extinction risk for 19,000 vertebrate species, the so-called Red List, maintained by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Hansen's data indicate that forest is continuing to be lost at 1.5 million square kilometers per year. Most of those changes occur in the tropics. South American rainforests account for almost half of global forest loss. In total, the new analysis shows that 37 percent of the world's forests have been converted to other land uses.
It concludes that forest loss increases the risk of species being listed and the work provides the first global quantitative link between forest loss and forest species decline.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing.
Hepatitis C can be eliminated from New Zealand within the next 20 years but to achieve this, testing and treatment in primary care must be increased.
New Zealand's Health Minister made the remarks during activities to mark World Hepatitis Day, with this year's theme of "eliminating hepatitis". The health minister said it is timely to reflect on the progress being made, and to focus on what more can be done to diagnose and treat hepatitis B and C.
In May 2016, New Zealand was one of 194 countries that adopted the World Health Organization's Global Hepatitis Strategy which set the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030.
Hepatitis C is a viral infection affecting over 50,000 New Zealanders, although it is estimated only half are currently diagnosed.
If untreated, around 25 percent will develop cirrhosis, and without successful treatment, up to 10 percent of those with cirrhosis will progress to life-threatening liver cancer or liver failure.
In October 2016, the government allowed all prescribers to prescribe the new hepatitis C treatments, which are antiviral therapies with cure rates of over 90 percent. To date, over 2,000 people have been funded for the new treatments.
This is Special English.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it will seek to lower nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels as part of a "comprehensive regulatory plan" aimed at significantly reducing tobacco-related disease and death.
In a statement, the FDA also said it will begin a public dialogue about lowering nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive levels through achievable product standards.
Almost 90 percent of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18 and almost 2,500 youth smoke their first cigarette every day in the U.S. The agency said lowering nicotine levels could decrease the likelihood that future generations become addicted to cigarettes and allow more currently addicted smokers to quit.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, as well as an estimated 300 billion U.S. dollars in direct health care and lost productivity costs.
The overwhelming amount of death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes, the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users.
The agency said that unless they change course, 5.6 million young people alive today will die prematurely later in life from tobacco use.
The U.S. agency also said it tries to reach an appropriate balance between regulation and encouraging the development of innovative tobacco products that may be less dangerous than cigarettes.
As a result, it will give manufacturers of the controversial e-cigarettes and several other previously unregulated tobacco products more time to comply with a final rule taking effect in August last year that extended the agency's authority to these tobacco products.
That is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
That is the end of today's program. I'm Mark Griffiths in Beijing, and I hope you will join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

 
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